What Do You Know?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-19I’m watching a CNN series titled, The Seventies. It’s an ongoing documentary about people, politics, events, and entertainment that created a unique culture. Ironically, one of the producers is Tom Hanks, who got his big break on a sitcom, Bosom Buddies late in that decade.

I grew up in the 1970s, so I’m fascinated by the series, which I think is quite well done. I find myself in “flashback” situations constantly. That being said, I also find I’m learning about things I was much too young to understand back then. The political and social climate around Vietnam; Watergate; and the transformation of social mores on television were all over my youthful level of cognizance, and now I find very intriguing. I am able to better understand and comment on things that I lived through, but really didn’t have a grasp of. I now know more…

We should all be growing in that way. I’m not just talking about television documentaries. I’m suggesting you all make efforts to make yourself more knowledgeable about the world you live in. The results are important to your business and career. By being more aware and educated, you will:

  • Become more of an object of interest to those around you
  • Be able to offer sage advice and wisdom when called upon
  • Have a deeper understanding of motivations, cultures, ideas, and styles
  • Create services and products for those that need them (whether they know it or not)
  • Start up conversations that don’t involve a business transaction, yet might lead to one
  • Develop stronger relationships

The list could go on much longer and maybe you’d like to add to it yourself. How do you go about doing all of this “learning?” Here are 10 painless (and maybe fun) ways to do it…

  1. Read books of all genres, not just self-help business. Read for pleasure as well as learning.
  2. Travel. I mean really travel. Leave your state, your region, and your country and experience things.
  3. Have a hobby. Learn about it and gain enjoyment. It might be bird watching or astronomy. Maybe it’s coin collecting or model train making. Whatever it is, find something that is fun.
  4. Be active. It’s good for your brain, your heart, and your spirit.
  5. Learn another language or an instrument. Learning something new is invigorating and fun to discuss with others.
  6. Write a blog or journal. Capture your thoughts. The more you write the better your vocabulary, and the better communicator you will become.
  7. Watch television. TV is now part of our culture. You will learn a lot about the world you live in and even yourself. Mix it up and watch a variety of things for pleasure and learning.
  8. Read the Wall Street Journal daily. I don’t read it cover to cover, but I stay current. I’ve got it on my phone and with notifications. You need to be apprised of what’s going on in business and what it all means for you and your clients.
  9. Take a leadership role. It might be for your favorite charity or service organization. Regardless, when you take a lead role in something you have a passion for, you gain a lot of worldly knowledge.
  10. Ask others for opinions and commentary. AND, I don’t mean on Facebook! I mean ask questions at parties and social gatherings. meet new people and learn about them and their world. Get anew perspective from others by being inquisitive.

So, what do you know? Maybe it’s time you go find out for yourself.

© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Getting Your Bark On

This week’s focus point…Getting Your Bark On.Dan Weedin Unleashed-40

Dogs communicate and influence with their bark. I can tell by Captain Jack’s bark his intent or desire. He’s got different barks that tell if he’s hungry, playing, irritated because his ball is stuck under the coach, out of water in his dish, lonely, or if he’s fired up about a squirrel in the front yard. The tone, pitch, and frequency are all indicators and he uses his bark to influence me to a call to action for him. He’s pretty successful most of the time.

You use words daily to influence. Whether you know it or not, your tone, pitch, and pace will indicate your intent and will be inferred by the person or people listening to you. Influencing is not being manipulative. It’s genuinely trying to get somebody else to “move” to a different point of view, an alternative process, or a changed behavior. If you’re in a leadership position and genuinely want to improve the condition of the other person, then being influential is critical.

How you are able to communicate through your own style of speaking (and your ability to understand what motivates the other person) will ultimately determine how successful and significant of a leader you are. This isn’t necessarily innate; it’s a skill that can be learned and mastered.

How much “bite” is in your bark?

© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.

~ Theodore Roosevelt

Weedin Unleashed broadcast is BACK. Join the conversation on today’s topic HERE.

Extra Points: Building Puzzles

This week’s focus point…Building Puzzles.
Dan Weedin Unleashed-40
This past weekend, Barb and I traveled to visit her parents, which required a trip across the ferry. Normally, I sit and read and relax on ferries, but on the weekends, I use it to get a little exercise in. The ferry is a 30-minute crossing and based on my Fitbit calculations, about 2500 steps. I opted to get some steps in!

As I walked around my first lap, I noticed a half-finished puzzle on one of the tables. This is quite usual. It’s there for any passenger to share in the building of a 1000 piece puzzle. By the time I made my first full lap, a gentleman was sitting there working on it. For those that partake, it’s a shared experience among people that don’t even know each other, for the purposes of one mission. To complete the puzzle. It’s an exercise in working towards a greater good.

What would your workplace and company be like if people that DID know each other worked in a similar fashion? Instead of arguments, agendas, and drama over projects and shared objectives, they could work like the puzzle-makers to find solutions, make decisions, and solve puzzles quickly for the benefit of all. As a leader, you create the environment to do this. How you influence people will have a direct correlation on their desire to build puzzles collaboratively or tear them apart before it even gets going. How will you foster puzzle building in your teams this week?

© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

~ Mark Twain

Weedin Unleashed broadcast is BACK. Join the conversation on today’s topic HERE.

Extra Points: If the bathing Suit Fits

This week’s focus point…If the Bathing Suit Fits.Dan Weedin Unleashed-40
Barb and I were in Colombia for two weeks and during our stay in the beautiful city of Paipa, we found ourselves in need of bathing suits. You see, Paipa is the home of unique hot springs and mineral waters, and they have a pool there for your relaxation and enjoyment of the agua caliente. We didn’t bring our own because the weather looked to be cold and rainy. I learned that agua caliente trumps cold and rainy.

Our guide was our former Rotary exchange student from Paipa. Tati took us to the epicenter of water wear in the town, which may have taken up about 150 square feet in total. I asked to look at the sizes L and XL, as I’ve always had to buy larger in South America. Wanting to be sure, I asked to be shown to the changing room. It turned out the lady only needed to point. The changing “room” was in the corner of the petite shop behind a green curtain. Once behind this shield, I realized that in standing straight up and down, both shoulders could touch either side of the curtain. Simply moving my feet would create a draft I wasn’t prepared for. At this point, I looked down at the XL, pulled them apart with a good tug and said, “these will work.” I left my slightly cramped quarters still intact and willing to take the risk…

How often do you find yourself in a “tight spot;” with little room to move, nowhere to sit, and cogitating anxiously on the predicament while the walls close in? Rather, quickly assess your situation; find the simplest solution; make a decision; and take the risk. Don’t waste valuable time standing behind a curtain wondering what to do next. Just give the problem a little “tug” and do the best you can. Like the size of may bathing suit, it normally fits just right!

 © 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

~ P.J. O’ Roarke

Weedin Unleashed broadcast is BACK. Join the conversation on today’s topic HERE.

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HELP…I Need Somebody!

Anytime you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.”

~ Alex Haley

Help is one of my all-time favorite songs from The Beatles. I’m pretty sure it has little to do with the lyrics, and more to do with the beat and rhythm. However, there is one very important set of lyrics that is exigent to the song. Let’s take just a moment to inspect these lyrics and see how they can help you grow your career and more rapidly build your business.

“Help, I need somebody; Help, not just anybody…”

Every one of us has needed and will need help in business and life at some point. You may have often been the one helping others, yet it’s common to eschew asking for help when we know we need it. And what’s worse is this – we often “shop” that help as if we’re comparing brands of toothpaste!

It’s a natural to have success spurred by early learning, education, knowledge, mentoring, and coaching. The problem is that analogous to leaving college, many people think that the growth and learning can be scaled down. It ends up being less of a priority and falls behind new sales and a myriad of other business objectives. You won’t find many business professionals stating that they think ongoing knowledge is a bad thing. However, it is common to see a largely diminished desire to reach out for help when it’s not clear that it’s needed.

The reason is three-fold. First, many don’t think they need it. They believe their collected experience and acumen is enough to carry them through anything. Second, they would rather invest in other areas than themselves (employees, equipment, structures). Third, they are embarrassed to admit they might need help.

Here’s the problem… In today’s rapidly changing and volatile world, you need more help than ever before to not only stay afloat, but to be on top of the wave!

Let’s change that paradigm right now with my 4-step fix:

First, consider you as the most important asset and investment to your organization (whether you own it or not). This is a mindset. You must genuinely believe that investing in yourself to constantly and consistently get better every day is not only important, but imperative to career growth and success. There is no better investment you will ever make in life than in yourself.

Second, transfer that knowledge to others. Think of it like being on an airplane and being told to put your mask on first before helping another. You can’t help others if you’re not in solid position. However once you are, you can help others around you to “breathe,” and enhance their own skills and talents.

Third, be vulnerable enough to realize when you need assistance with something in your business. It might be increasing revenue, reducing your risk, managing a transition in management, or improving your leadership acumen and skills. When you need professional help, base it on your return on investment, not just the price. If you’d need a brain surgeon, you wouldn’t seek out the cheapest one. If your child needed advanced education tutoring, you wouldn’t haggle down the price to get a “good deal.” Too many can fall into the trap of cheaper is better because the ROI is all the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s almost always the other way around.

Fourth, make it a priority to implement. Getting advice and help is a huge waste of money and time if you never use it. Implementation is the hardest part because it requires an investment of time and often involves significant change. Neither is easy to deal with, however that’s why you needed to the help to begin with! Commit to putting your newfound education into action. Set metrics for success and chart it to make sure you’re achieving it. When I bought my Fitbit, that little device kept me more accountable to activity and fitness than anything I had ever used before. Without measuring the results of your performance, how will you know you’ve gotten better?

Finally, rinse and repeat. This isn’t a one-time investment in you. That is a common mistake made by business professionals. As long as you’re working in your career (or simply alive for that matter), this continual evolution must continue to bring success, significance, and enrichment. Then you get to live the career and life you always imagined.

Do yourself a favor – ask for help to improve your condition throughout your life; get that help form the person or people that are the best at what they do; and then go help someone else in turn because you have tremendous value yourself.

© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This is my July 2015 column for the Kitsap Business Journal…

Extra Points: Freedom

This week’s focus point…FreedomDan Weedin Unleashed-40

Freedom doesn’t come free or without courage and fortitude. I’m a proud member of the Sons of the American Revolution, which means I’ve been able to trace 3 direct-line grandfathers back to serving in the War of Independence. I was out of the country during our celebration of independence, which I’m sure is a first for me. That being said, it still stirs a great passion and love for my country and those that had a hand in founding it.

I offer today, a few days after our celebration, a token of my gratitude. This is a 5-minute clip from a tremendous mini-series, John Adams. The scene is a brilliant and poignant view of the vote to accept the Declaration of Independence and the subsequent reading of it to the colonists.


Click Here to view video

This week’s quote –
~ Thomas Jefferson

Weedin Unleashed broadcast on hiatus until July 13th.

© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved